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2000 UW-Oshkosh Women's Volleyball News

NCAA All-America Team Includes Two Titans

For only the second time in school history, UW-Oshkosh has landed a pair of first team selections on the NCAA Division III All-America women's volleyball squad.

Selected by the American Volleyball Coaches Association to the 12-member first team from UW-Oshkosh were senior middle blocker Jane Copenhaver (Wausau) and junior setter Christina Southward (St. Anthony, Minn.). In 1991, UW-Oshkosh had middle blocker Amy Cayemberg and setter Jamie Ford receive first team recognition. Other WIAC schools having a pair of NCAA Division III All-America first team selections in the same year previously were UW-River Falls in 1996 and UW-Whitewater in 1988 and 1993.

Led by Copenhaver and Southward, UW-Oshkosh fashioned a 30-9 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division III Championship. After defeating Marian College and St. Olaf College by 3-0 scores in the opening rounds of the 48-team NCAA post-season event, UW-Oshkosh then dropped a 3-1 decision to eventual national champion Central College.

Copenhaver started 36 matches for the Titans this past season, totaling 604 kills and 156 blocks. A primary passer, Copenhaver hit .373 and registered 225 digs and 22 service aces. In addition to receiving All-WIAC and NCAA Division III All-Midwest Region first team honors this past year, Copenhaver was named to three all-tournament teams, including being chosen the most valuable player at the St. Mary's University Invitational. Her 31 kills against Lake Forest College on Sept. 29 established a WIAC record.

A four-year starter, Copenhaver concluded her UW-Oshkosh career with 1,586 kills and 487 total blocks, the third-highest totals in school annals. She ended her senior season by recording double-digit kills in 58 consecutive matches. Copenhaver was an All-WIAC first team honoree in 1999.

Southward started all 39 matches for the Titans this past year, compiling 1,846 assists, 442 digs, 305 kills, 95 total blocks and 74 service aces. In addition, Southward recorded a .472 hitting percentage to lead the NCAA Division III in that category for the second consecutive year. This past year, Southward was named to five all-tournament teams, including being named the most valuable player at the UW-Oshkosh Classic.

Starting every game for UW-Oshkosh the past three seasons, Southward has totaled 4,657 assists, 1,128 digs, 772 kills, 220 total blocks and 215 service aces. In 1999, she received NCAA Division III All-America second team honors. Southward is also a three-time All-WIAC and a two-time NCAA Division III All-Midwest Region first team selection.

Two-Time Defending Champion Eliminates Titans From NCAA Championship

Two-time defending national champion Central College advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Championship for the fourth straight year after defeating UW-Oshkosh, 3-1, on Saturday night (Nov. 11) in Pella, Iowa. The host Dutch dropped the opening game to the Titans by a 15-10 count before closing the match with consecutive victories of 15-7, 15-7 and 15-11.

UW-Oshkosh, a third-place finisher in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, ends the year with a 30-9 record after defeating Marian College (3-0) and St. Olaf College (3-0) in the previous two rounds of this year's NCAA Division III Championship. Central College, 37-2 and champion of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, is scheduled to meet the College of Mount St. Joseph (32-4) next weekend in a quarterfinal round contest.

UW-Oshkosh jumped to a 13-4 lead in the opening game against Central College and withstood a late rally by the Dutch. Central College came back with victories in games two and three and had to scrap again in game four. The Dutch were down 9-6 to the Titans, but tied the score at 10-10, then scored five of the next six points to win the match. The victory over UW-Oshkosh was the 151st in the last 159 matches for Central College.

Sophomore Kristi Kujak led UW-Oshkosh with 15 kills, while Jane Copenhaver had 12, Brea Richards 11 and Christina Southward 10. Southward also had 48 assists and 25 digs, both team highs. As a team, UW-Oshkosh recorded a .118 hitting percentage.

Senior Candace Wilson had 20 kills, 19 digs and six blocks in the two-hour match, while sophomore Michelle Bruns had 14 kills, 13 digs and five blocks. The Dutch hit .178 against the Titans, well below their team season average of .316.

UW-Oshkosh's setback ends its eighth appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship. The Titans' previous seven trips to the post-season gala included a second-place finish in 1994 and fourth-place finishes in 1991 and 1996.

Titans Advance To Sweet 16 In NCAA Championship

Sweeping its opponent for the second time in as many nights, the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team has advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Division III Championship. The Titans remained alive in the 48-team event by defeating St. Olaf College, 15-12, 15-5 and 16-14, on Friday evening (Nov. 10) in Pella, Iowa.

UW-Oshkosh, which opened its eighth appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship on Thursday with a 15-2,15-8 and 15-9 victory over Marian College, meets two-time defending national champion and host Central College on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the quarterfinal round. The Dutch (36-2) advanced to meet UW-Oshkosh after sweeping St. Mary's University, 15-6, 15-4 and 15-6, on Friday.

UW-Oshkosh (30-8) hit .252 in the match against the Oles and benefited from five service aces and 22 total blocks. Kristi Kujak paced the Titans with 14 kills, one solo block and five assisted blocks, while Jane Copenhaver added 13 kills, 13 digs, two solo blocks and four assisted blocks. Copenhaver had 17 kills and five solo bocks in the win over Marian College.

St. Olaf College, which dropped a 3-1 decision to UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 28, hit .142 in Friday night's loss. Christine Moses had 15 kills and 19 digs to lead the Oles, who conclude their seventh appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship.

UW-Oshkosh, now 15-9 in NCAA Division III post-season play, is looking to advance to the quarterfinal round for the fourth time in school history. The Titans made quarterfinal round appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship in 1991, 1994 and 1996.

Central College enters Saturday's contest with UW-Oshkosh having won 150 of its last 158 matches, going 36-2 in 2000, 41-0 in 1999, 37-2 in 1998 and 36-4 in 1997. The Dutch have won all three matches in the all-time series with UW-Oshkosh.

Titans Win Opening Match In NCAA Championship

Returning to the NCAA Division III Championship after a two-year hiatus, the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team soundly defeated Marian College in a first round match held Thursday evening (Nov. 9) in Pella, Iowa.

The Titans (29-8) defeated the Sabres (30-6) in game scores of 15-2, 15-8 and 15-9. UW-Oshkosh, now 7-2 all-time against Marian College, rotated only five times in the first game. The victory also marked UW-Oshkosh's fourth 3-0 sweep in NCAA Division III post-season play.

UW-Oshkosh advances to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship, where it will meet St. Olaf College (26-7). Earlier this year, UW-Oshkosh defeated the Oles, 3-1, in a match held in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh, appearing in its eighth NCAA Division III Championship, recorded a .371 hitting percentage en route to its victory over Marian College. Jane Copenhaver had 17 kills to lead the Titans, while Kristi Kujak and Brea Richards had 10 each. Copenhaver also had five assisted blocks and four digs. Christina Southward aided the Titans' winning effort by recording 41 assists, five service aces, four digs and three assisted blocks.

Marian College hit just .044 against UW-Oshkosh and had seven receiving errors. Only two of the nine Marian College players who appeared in the match had a positive hitting percentage.

Copenhaver, Southward Receive All-WIAC Honors

Five seniors and seven juniors were named to the 12-player All-WIAC Women's Volleyball First Team.

UW-River Falls placed three members on the First Team, while UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater each landed two players. The Player of the Year was awarded to Melissa Mattson of UW-River Falls, while UW-Whitewater head coach Kris Russell was named the Coach of the Year.

Leading the first-team selections was Mattson, who was also named the 2000 WIAC Player of the Year and the Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete Award winner. Mattson, a senior middle hitter, is a three-time All-WIAC first team honoree. She ranks second in the WIAC in hitting percentage (.372), third in kills (4.21/g) and 10th in blocks (0.86/g). Last season, she was named All-America second team. Mattson holds Falcon career records for kills and hitting percentage.

Also representing the Falcons were Joy Nicholson and Holly Olson. Nicholson was also named All-WIAC first team last season. She ranks second in the WIAC in digs (4.38/g) and seventh in kills (3.48/g). Nicholson was named to the All-Tournament Team at the UW-Eau Claire Lisa Siegenthaler Memorial Tournament this season. Olson earned her third consecutive All-WIAC First Team honor, while ranking second in the WIAC in assists (12.57/g) and seventh in service aces (.42/g) this season. In addition, she is a two-time All-Midwest Region First Team honoree.

Conference champion, and NCAA automatic qualifier, UW-Whitewater landed sisters Allison and Melinda Erickson on the first team. The honor for Allison is her third consecutive, while Melinda was named All-WIAC first team last season. Allison ranks fifth in the WIAC in hitting percentage (.303), sixth in blocks (1.06/g), seventh in digs (3.79/g) and 11th in kills (3.21/g). She is a two-time All-Midwest Region first team selection. Melinda ranks second in the WIAC in kills (4.40/g), fifth in digs (3.82/g) and 10th in hitting percentage (.267). She was named to the All-Tournament Teams at the Elmhurst College (Ill.), Emory University (Ga.) and Central College (Iowa) Invitationals. In addition, she was named to the All-Midwest Region first team last season.

Two members of UW-Oshkosh's 28-8 squad were named to the first team. Junior setter Christina Southward makes her third appearance on the All-WIAC first team. She leads the WIAC in assists (13.79/g) and service aces (.58/g). Her assist average also leads all of NCAA Division III. Southward was a Second Team All-America selection last season. Senior middle hitter Jane Copenhaver also earned All-WIAC first team honors last season. She leads the WIAC in hitting percentage (.402), kills (4.87) and ranks second in blocks (1.26/g).

Megan Eklund of UW-La Crosse garnered her third All-WIAC first team honor. The junior setter ranks fifth in the WIAC in assists (11.09/g) and 10th in service aces (.38/g). She was named to the All-Tournament Teams at the UW-Platteville, Bethel University (Minn.) and UW-Oshkosh Invitationals this season. Eklund was named All-Midwest Region First Team in 1998.

Jess Draeger of UW-Eau Claire was the lone Blugold named to the first team. The senior outside hitter ranks third in the WIAC in digs (4.34/g) and fourth in kills (3.68/g). Draeger was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Augsburg College (Minn.) and St. Norbert College Invitationals this season.

UW-Platteville's Brooke Kaiser led the Pioneers to a 25-9 record this season. The native of Warren, Ill., ranks fourth in the WIAC in hitting percentage (.335) and eighth in kills (3.27/g). She was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the UW-Platteville Invitational this season.

UW-Stout junior middle hitter, Brooke Palmer, makes her initial appearance on the first team after being named to the honorable mention squad last season. Palmer ranks fifth in the WIAC in kills (3.65/g), eighth in blocks (.98/g) and 11th in hitting percentage (.265).

Rounding out the 2000 All-WIAC First Team was UW-La Crosse's Leah Rausch. The senior outside hitter ranks eighth in the WIAC in hitting percentage (.277) and ninth in kills (3.27/g).

Titans Place Third In WIAC Tournament

Rebounding from a tough loss in the semifinals, the UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team finished third at the WIAC Tournament held Friday and Saturday (Nov. 3-4) in Whitewater.

The Titans gained third place on Saturday by defeating UW-Platteville in scores of 15-8, 13-15, 15-5 and 15-8. UW-Oshkosh's victory followed Friday's 13-15, 15-13, 6-15, 15-4 and 8-15 setback to UW-River Falls in the semifinals. UW-Whitewater (36-1) defeated UW-River Falls (27-10) in Saturday's title match (15-10, 3-15, 15-8 and 15-9) to earn the WIAC's automatic bid to the 48-team NCAA Division III Tournament.

UW-Oshkosh (28-8) started strong against UW-Platteville (25-9), leading the first game from start to finish. The Pioneers trailed 5-4 in the second game, but rallied to even the match after the Titans built leads of 11-6 and 14-7. UW-Oshkosh jumped out to an 11-2 lead in winning game three and claimed game four after compiling advantages of 10-4 and 12-5.

Jane Copenhaver had 24 kills to lead UW-Oshkosh, while Christina Southward added 14, Kristi Kujak 12 and Brea Richards 10. Southward led the Titans with 52 assists, while Richards had a team-high 19 digs. UW-Oshkosh hit .240 for the match, while UW-Platteville hit .173. Kristen Shields had 17 kills and 15 digs to pace UW-Platteville.

In the semifinals, UW-Oshkosh fell behind two games to one against UW-River Falls before winning game four thanks to a .400 hitting percentage. The Titans cooled considerably in the fifth and deciding game, hitting .000 with four kills and four errors in 19 attacks. UW-River Falls hit .400 in the fifth game, recording nine kills and one error in 20 attacks.

UW-Oshkosh had 75 kills against the Falcons, with Copenhaver totaling 22, Kujak 16 and Southward 12. Southward also recorded 58 assists and 16 digs. Kelly Poskus led UW-Oshkosh with 17 digs. UW-River Falls compiled 65 kills against the Titans, with Melissa Mattson totaling a match-high 26. The Falcons had 91 digs in the contest, including double-figure performances by five players.

With UW-Whitewater already in the NCAA Division III Tournament field, the WIAC looks to add one team, if not two teams, to the post-season selections that will be announced Sunday evening. In the latest AVCA poll of NCAA Division III teams, UW-Whitewater was ranked first, UW-River Falls eighth and UW-Oshkosh 16th. UW-Oshkosh's eight losses this season feature a pair to UW-River Falls and UW-Whitewater and one each to Augustana College, Elmhurst College, Trinity University and UW-Eau Claire. Trinity University and Elmhurst College are also ranked nationally, 10th and 12th, respectively.

Titans Defeat Blue Devils In WIAC Tournament Opener

The UW-Oshkosh women's volleyball team advanced to the semifinal round of the WIAC Tournament following Tuesday's (Oct. 31) first round victory over UW-Stout in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh dropped a 15-9 decision to the Blue Devils in the opening game before winning the match with victories of 15-2, 15-12 and 15-7 in games two, three and four, respectively.

UW-Oshkosh, 27-7 and ranked 20th in the NCAA Division III, moves on to face UW-River Falls, 26-9 and ranked 10th in the NCAA Division III, in a semifinal round contest on Friday (5 p.m.) in Whitewater. UW-River Falls qualified for Friday's contest with the Titans by defeating UW-Eau Claire on Tuesday in game scores of 15-11, 16-14 and 15-13. Friday's other semifinal round match (7:30 p.m.) has UW-Whitewater, 34-1 and ranked second in the NCAA Division III, playing UW-Platteville, 25-7. Friday's winners meet on Saturday (2:30 p.m.) in Whitewater for the WIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Friday's losers meet on Saturday (noon) in Whitewater for third-place bragging rights.

After dropping the first game to the Blue Devils, UW-Oshkosh evened the match by ending the second game with a 12-0 run. Following a tightly-contested game three, UW-Oshkosh took the match by a 3-1 count after jumping out to a 14-3 advantage in game four.

Senior Jane Copenhaver accumulated 18 kills and 10 digs to help the Titans to their fifth straight win, while Christina Southward added 10 kills, 10 digs and 54 assists. Other double-digit performers in kills for the Titans were Brea Richards with 14 and Tara Dorski with 13. Jackie Regester also contributed to the victory with a team-high 14 digs.

UW-Oshkosh hit .317 for the match,including a .625 mark in game two. UW-Stout, which ends the year with a 24-12 record, hit .257 for the match.